Saturday, November 12, 2005

winged grace

i recently said, butterflies are like grace.

yesterday, troubled in thought, i plunged into fulfilling duties.

sitting in traffic after picking up precious cargo, i noticed a monarch swirl around the back of the car in front of me. it flittered, not in a purposeful way, but more like it was adrift.

i watched it land on the strip of weedy grasses springing up on the median.

when our truck nudged gently forward, i put the car in park and grabbed the monarch. it did not resist.

i have picked up dying butterflies before. they are strangely passive. this one was listing. his tiny black legs seemed to be buckling under the weight of immense wings. his abdomen rested on the armrest.

i could not let him die alone, as it were. so i put him on my shirt.

i arrived to lead the meeting with a monarch basking on my chest.

the meeting was work. teaching girls to fold and unfold a flag. the bulk of them under seven. but i had tangible grace with me.

it flew across the room once, and i retrieved it and set it upon my shirt again. there it stayed until we gave it sugar water, which it drank and perked up a bit.

there were moments when the butterfly would close its wings and the only movement was a slightly twitching leg. i was certain it had passed into shadow. but it had not. it perked up again.

grace stayed with me all the way home and before i entered it flew away. to die in beauty.

it is not often one spends three hours with a monarch. i think the girls will have this peculiar memory of me, and that pleases me more than anything.

2 comments:

TS said...

Quite a lovely visual image.

MickSilva said...

Exquisite, Suz.

"...The whole arrangement's designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn't supply then with. Or they thought their own environment couldn't supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up begfre they ever really even got started."

When we choose that one noble cause, Suz, and apply ourselves to it, we will change the world.